What we like on Netflix Streaming.
The must have service that was launched with House of Cards.
They usually keep big movies on their DVD service. You can buy both like we do or get your big movies with Pay per View streaming from your cable service, Amazon Prime etc.
Scroll down to my “For My Girlfriends” section underneath our film and series picks. These are movies and series that Ray doesn’t want to watch but are entertaining and good enough to watch with lunch or just relaxing. This section actually gets updated more often because it is more forgiving.
Netflix Streaming Films We Recommend
In mostly chronological order from most recent
The White Tiger (2021): Based on a novel, takes place entirely in India, stars include Priyanka Chopra and Adarsh Gourav. Screenplay adaptation, director and one of the producers along with Ava DuVernay is Ramin Bahrani.
Snowden 2016 film but just came to Netflix streaming November 1, 2020. directed by Oliver Stone, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (October 2020): Netflix Original Docudrama Written and Directed by Aaron Sorkin. Starring: Eddie Redmayne (Tom Hayden) Sacha Baron Cohen (Abbie Hoffman) reminding us of what a good dramatic actor he is; Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Richard Schultz); Frank Langella (Judge Julius Hoffman); Alex Sharp (Rennie Davis); Mark Rylance (William Kunstler); Ben Shenkman (Leonard Weinglass). Yes. Tom Hayden was married to Jane Fonda 1973-1990. Nice wrap up of what happened to each of leading players at the end of the movie.
Mank (Dec 2020): Docudrama. black and white. Starring Gary Oldman. Set during the depression. Story of the writing of Citizen Cane by an eloquent alcoholic; along with insight into Marion Davies, Louis B. Mayer and “Willie” Hearst. Interesting if you keep reminding yourself it is a biography but low marks for entertainment value. Lots of award nominations although so far few wins. AARP Time Capsule winner.
The Laundromat (2019): based on the Mossack Fonseca scandal. Starring: Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas, Meryl Streep
The Highwaymen (2019): Starring Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates Netflix Original Bonnie and Clyde story from a different perspective.
Paddleton (2019): Netflix Original starring Ray Romano and Mark Duplass, a story of friendship and choosing assisted suicide when a terminal illness is diagnosed. Heartwarming. 90 minutes.
Fyre: The Greatest Festival That Never Happened (2019, January): Documentary of Billy McFarland’s Fyre Festival fraud.
Roma (2018, December): Renowned film maker Alfonso Cuarón depicting his own upbringing in Mexico featuring their maid, who is played by a woman who had never acted before. Golden Globes 2019 Best Foreign Film winner.
Kindergarten Teacher (October, 2018): Poignant Netflix Original film starring Maggie Gyllenhaal
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (November, 2018): Comedy, musical, drama. Watch it because it is by the Coen Brothers (Ethan and Joel). Six vignettes (suitable for bite size viewing) taking place in the wild west 133 minutes in total. Cast includes James Franco, Liam Neeson, Tom Waits, Zoe Kazan, Tyne Daly.
The Christmas Chronicles (November, 2018): Totally corny but endearing, high production values, and great to watch with family. Starring Kurt Russell with his Goldie Hawn as Mrs. Claus.
The Cakemaker (2017 but hit Netflix in 2018): Takes place in Berlin and Jerusalem. Starring Tim Kalkhof (German) and Sarah Adler (French). LGBT.
MudBound (November 2017): racism in rural Mississippi following WWII. Netflix Original Film
The Meyerowitz Stories (Oct 2017): familial angst, aging well. Netflix Original starring Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Elizabeth Marvel, Candice Bergen. Also Judd Hirsch, Adam Driver, Sigourney Weaver. “Genius Girl” song written by Adam Sandler and Director, Noah Baumbach, performed by Adam Sandler and Grace Van Patten (Van Patten is Sandler’s daughter in the story). Although IMDB categorizes this film as comedy, drama – definitely don’t watch it looking for a comedy; and expect lots of talking.
To the Bone (2017): anorexia drama starring Keanu Reeves. Netflix Original. Semi-autobiography of writer Marti Noxon’s own experience. Sundance film festival recognition. debuted July 14
Our Souls at Night (2017): Robert Redford, Jane Fonda. Netflix Original. Romance. Aging Gracefully.
What Happened to Monday (2017): Noomi Rapace, Glenn Close, Willem Dafoe. Sci-fi
Lion (2016): Docudrama, Nominated for six Oscars
Florence Foster Jenkins (2016): Docudrama starring Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg (Wolowitz on Big Bang Theory)
The Founder (2016): Docudrama. McDonald’s starring Michael Keaton
Carrie Pilby (2016): Romance, coming of age, comedy based on the novel, starring Nathan Lane, Gabriel Byrne, Bel Powley. 90m.
A Street Cat Named Bob (2016): docudrama, Not feel good in the beginning. Hang in there.
Tallulah (2016): Ellen Page, Allison Janney, meaning of family, Netflix Original
Barry (2016): docudrama, Obama coming of age
Burnt (2015): cooking romance, starring Bradley Cooper
Waffle Street (2015): docudrama. learn about the franchising business
Concussion (2015): docudrama, Will Smith
Woman in Gold (2015): docudrama, art
Spotlight (2015): journalism docudrama on Catholic Church child abuse scandal, Oscar best picture starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton
St Vincent (2014): aging well, coming of age, feel good, Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy
The Cobbler (2014): feel good, Adam Sandler
In Your Eyes (2014): romance, sci-fi
Imitation Game (2014): docudrama, WWII, tech, story of Alan Turing, Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley
Chef (2014): feel good, importance of family, food, Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman
The Giver (2014): Sci-fi, romance starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep. Based on a book by Lois Lawry
The Homesman (2014): About women in the west in the 1850’s, questionable if it is “feminist” as claimed, rather dark but both the novel and the film have won awards. Directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones with Hillary Swank, and briefly John Lithgow, Meryl Streep, James Spader, Tim Blake Nelson.
Fruitvale Station (2013): docudrama, police shooting of Oscar Grant
Philomena (2013): docudrama, Judi Dench
August: Osage County (2013): strong women, starring Meryl Streep, Dermot Mulroney, Julia Roberts
Sleepwalk with Me (2012): docudrama, comedian Mike Birbiglia wrote and stars in film about his life 28 – 33
Peace, Love and Misunderstanding (2011): importance of family, Jane Fonda
Moonrise Kingdom (2012): comedy, directed by Wes Anderson, starring Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton
Frances Ha (2012): importance of friendship, black and white, starring Greta Gerwig who also worked on screenplay
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011): documentary
Inside Job (2010): documentary. Matt Damon is one of the narrators. What brought about the 2008 financial meltdown
Mr. Nobody (2009): Jared Leto, butterfly effect
Netflix Streaming Series We Recommend
The pandemic has been a time for many to catch up with things they’ve missed. We’ve been catching up with Better Call Saul (2015 -) The prequel to Breaking Bad. If you missed Breaking Bad, why not start here. Season 5 began filming in February 2020 but of course is now on hiatus.
Bridgerton (Dec 25, 2020): Delightful romance novel, very pretty production with ample love and sex scenes. Probably belongs in my “for my girlfriends” section but recommended for date night.
The Queen’s Gambit (October 23, 2020): A Netflix original limited series with seven episodes, starring Anya Taylor-Joy based on a novel about chess. Beautiful production with 1960’s settings, coming of age, addiction, woman power.
Away (2020) Sci-fi, space. Starring Hillary Swank
#BlackAF (April 17, 2020): Created by and starring Kenya Barris. Kenya is a writer/producer – not previously known as an actor – know for Black-ish, Grown-ish, and Girls Trip and has 6 children in real life. No that is not actually his family even though the show will convince you they are. Lots of improv. Rashida Jones (daughter of Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton) as his wife, Iman Benson as the lead of his 6 children in the show. Appears to have lots of improv. Very funny.
Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates (2019): Three part documentary
Living with Yourself (2019, October): Starring Paul Rudd, Aisling Bea, Alia Shawkat, cameo by Tom Brady. Dark comedy about cloning. Alia, who plays Rudd’s sister, is from Arrested Development.
Unbelievable (2019, Sept 13): Sexual assault. Historical Drama starring Toni Collette and a host of familiar faces. The first episode is a nice insight into what a victim goes through reporting an incident right after it has happened. 8 episodes.
Politician (2019): by the creators of Glee. Nice performances including Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Platt, Jessica Lange.
The Spy (2019): Historical Drama starring Sacha Baron Cohen as the Israeli spy, Eli Cohen
Dead to Me (2019): Starring and produced by Christine Applegate (Married with Children), James Marsden (WestWorld), Ed Asner, Linda Cardellini. Black humor. Female point of view. Ed Asner contributes Aging Gracefully.
After Life (2019): Ricky Gervais stars, directed and wrote. Bitter after his wife’s death. Dark humor. Netflix Original. Six 30 minute episodes. British setting.
Russian Doll (2019 Feb): Dramedy mystery with reminders of GroundHog Day starring Natasha Lyonne (Orange is the New Black) who also co-created with Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland. Eight 30 minute episodes. Natasha Lyonne’s best friend Chloë Sevigny appears as her mother late in the series. Netflix Original.
Umbrella Academy (2019 Feb 15): Starring Ellen Page. Sci-fi (ish)/super hero’s, humor, action. Based on American comic book series. Ten one-hour episodes. Importance of Family. Netflix Original.
One Strange Rock (2018): National Geographic produced, Will Smith and 7 astronauts narrate. ten 47 minute episodes. Beautiful to watch. Ten 47 minute episodes. Season two approved.
Kominsky Method (2018): launched November 16 Netflix Original created by Chuck Lorre. Starring Michael Douglas, Alan Arkin, Nancy Travis. Aging Gracefully.
BodyGuard (2018): Crime drama thriller starring Richard Madden (Game of Thrones, Cinderella). Just six episodes.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story Season Two (2018): Docudrama starring Darren Criss, Penelope Cruz, Ricky Martin and Edgar Ramirez. Won three Emmys and two Golden Globes. Based on Maureen Orth’s book “Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History.” Mini-series from FX that began with The People vs O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
Ozark (2017 – ) 2018 Season 2 did not disappoint, set-up for Season 3. Starring Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Julia Garner. Importance of Family.
Maniac (2018): Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, Sally Field, Julia Garner, Sonoya Mizuno, Justin Theroux, Gabriel Byrne. Intriguing sci-fi with some dark comic elements.
Get Shorty (2017 – ): Starring Ray Romano and large cast. Unbilled: Allan Arkin, note Adam Arkin is one of the directors. Based on Elmore Leonard’s novel and subsequent film. Some violence, some humor; great series.
Godless (2017): Merritt Wever from Nurse Jackie. Love Jack O’Connell. Excellent western tale with deep characterizations.
Sense8: 2 seasons and a two hour finale as promised in 2018. humanity, sci fi, music, LGBT
The Good Place (2016 – ): quirky metaphysical comedy. Originally on NBC. First season was best one. Third season downhill.
Travelers (2016 -): Season 3 aired December, 2018. sci-fi starring Eric McCormack
Grace and Frankie (2015 – ): aging gracefully, strong women, comedy, LGBT
Call My Agent (2015 – ): French comedy, entertaining look at the lives of people at a talent agency, some LGBT
House of Cards: 2013 – 2018 Season 6 beginning without Kevin Spacey. political drama
GirlBoss (2017): docudrama, loosely based on the true story of Nasty Gal Founder, Sophia Amoruso, 1 season, 13 episodes. Was not renewed for Season 2 but has satisfying conclusion. Strong women.
The Crown (2016 -) Starring Claire Foy. Now in Season 2.
Disjointed (2017 – 2018): comedy starring Kathy Bates. By Chuck Lorre. Netflix Original. Cancelled after one season.
The People Vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story Season One (2016): miniseries, docudrama Sarah Paulson, Won 9 Emmys, 2 Golden Globes. Originally on FX
Black Mirror: sci-fi. British. Our list of which episodes to watch first and which you can skip
The Good Place: Series: (2016): Season 3 finale was on NBC January 24 (Thursdays 8:30_. about Heaven. Starring Kristen Bell, Ted Danson Fantasy, Comedy, Drama, Importance of Family. 13 episodes, 30 minutes each. The series premiered on September 19, 2016 on NBC
WAS streaming on Netlix. Now you can rent the Season One and Two DVD. You can watch prime time on demand through your cable provider. Or watch on Hulu if you subscribe to that. Next season be sure to record on NBC (if you get TV).
The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt: season 1. comedy, strong women
Limitless (2015-2016): watch the movie first. scifi. one season
Dragon Tattoo Trilogy Extended Edition (2010): Girl with the Dragon Tattoo original Swedish version, six 90 min episodes
Blacklist (2013 – ) Originally on NBC. Starring James Spader, Megan Boone. crime drama.
Orange is the New Black (2013 – ): Sixth season is online. Season 7 will be the last. Season 5 was a bit grinding (riot/torturing guards) but hit a better stride in Season 6.
Arrested Development: comedy. Jeffrey Tambor, Jason Bateman comedy classic revival. 5th season 2019 for Netflix.
For My Girlfriends. Light Entertainment on Netflix Streaming
Sometimes we just want something to relax with. It needn’t be a “great” film, it just needs to be entertaining. The following films are available on streaming and fit in that category. Ratings are usually 6.3 or above on IMDB. Those of us with significant others, he doesn’t want to see it which is fine because we don’t have to wait for him to watch it. Both films and series are in here.
Bridgerton (Dec, 2020) also above.
Feel Good (March 19, 2020): LGBT dramedy includes romance and addiction starring Mae Martin as herself.
Always Be My Maybe (2019): Romcom written by, produced by and starring Randall Park, with Ali Wong and great bit by Keanu Reeves.
Call the Midwife (2012 – ) 11 seasons committed, still ongoing in 2020. Historical drama. Highly rated, but mostly will be enjoyed by women. Based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth. Takes place in East London in the late-1950s to mid-1960s. Each episode is a self contained story where the main characters are consistent but story characters get introduced, often with a social lesson, many on sensitive topics. Vanessa Redgrave narrates.
Lucifer (2015 – ) canceled in its third season by Fox but picked up by Netflix for a fourth season. Sexy, clever cop sho. The devil likes finding bad guy to make sure they are punished. #SaveLucifer got 8 million tweets in 2 weeks in May after it was cancelled.
Dumplin’ (December, 2018): Netflix Original starring Jennifer Aniston, uplifting, Dolly Parton infused, plus size teenager dramedy. From the book by Julie Murphy (instagram.com/andimjulie), directed by Anne Fletcher. Woman Power.
From Rotten Tomatoes (rottentomatoes.com/m/dumplin) by Gina Tonic:
In my eyes, [Dickson] represents a positivity I haven’t ever seen on a screen – one that doesn’t seek to change her body to fit in, but to change the world to find space and celebration for her fat frame.
The Princess Switch (2018): Netflix Original, Christmas Movie starring Vanessa Hudgens
Sisters (Sept 2018 Netflix launch): from an Australian 2017 TV show. Premise initially feels similar to the movie with Vince Vaughn where he has fathered 100+ children through a sperm bank but definitely has its special flavor. Unlikely you will recognize the actors. 7.7 on IMDB as of December 2018. Seven episodes
Wanderlust (2018): Toni Collette. BBC Netflix Original. Mini-series in 6 episodes.
Nappily Ever After (2018): Ricky Whittle (Lincoln – The 100), Sanaa Lathan (Nip/Tuck), Ernie Hudson (Grace & Frankie)
Sierra Burgess is a Loser (2018): High School angst and humor but I don’t think there are age limits on enjoying this film.
I am Not an Easy Man (2018): French comedy about gender roles. I loved it. French title: Je ne suis pas un homme facile.
When We First Met (2018): Romantic comedy with time travel. Adam Devine (Workaholics), Alexandra Daddario. Another take on GroundHog Day. Netflix Original.
The LetDown (2017): Comedy about new mothers made in Australia. Six 30 minute episodes. 7.5 rating on IMDB as of May 2018, very enjoyable but your man may prefer not to watch.
Anne with an “E” (2017): Seven episodes Season 1 will leave you wanting more. This story has been done many times but this is an excellent Canadian version. Fortunately, there is a Season 2 coming. Apparently it doesn’t match the book so if you loved the book you may object. High review scores on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.
Atypical (2017): starring Jennifer Jason Leigh. Comedy drama about autism. 8 thirty minute episodes
One Day at a Time (2017 – ): Netflix Original. Renewed for Season 2
The Incredible Jessica James (2017): Netflix Original film starring Jessica Williams (Daily Show 2012 – 2016)
Gypsy (2017): Netflix Original series starring Naomi Watts. 10 one hour episodes.
13 Reasons Why (March 2017 – ): Netflix Original Series. Teenage suicide. 14 one hour episodes. Season 2 2018
Friends from College (July 2017 – ): 8 episodes. Netflix Original Series. Comedy, drama. infidelity. renewed for season 2
Cable Girls (2017): Netflix Original Series. Set in 1920’s Madrid. Watch in the original Spanish with English subtitles otherwise you are watching it dubbed into English.
Riverdale (2017 – ): Updated Archie comic characters. Also on Amazon Prime. Season 2 premieres on The CW October October 11.
Carrie Pilby (2016): Comedy, drama. Starring Nathan Lane, Gabriel Byrne.
Blind Date (2015): French language. Romantic comedy
Laggies (2014): Romantic comedy starring Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell and Chloë Grace Moretz.
The Client List (2012 – 2013): Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Cybill Shepherd as her mother and a stream of unclothed, gorgeous men as the clients. Series is based on a 2010 Lifetime movie of the same name that also starred Hewitt. Originally broadcast on Lifetime.
Peace, Love & Misunderstanding (2011): Starring Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener
Today’s Special (2009): Romantic comedy. Aasif Mandvi wrote and stars in
Easy Virtue (2008): Jessica Biel, Colin Firth. Set in 1924 English countryside. Romantic comedy.
Marley and Me (2008): Starring Owen Wilson, Jennifer Anniston and Alan Arkin with appearance by Kathleen Turner as a dog trainer. Biographical Drama from the book by journalist John Grogan.
Outsourced (2006): Romantic comedy (was rated 7 on IMDB as of July 2017)
Emma (1996): Gwyneth Paltrow, based on Jane Austen novel
Corrina, Corrina (1994): on DVD only. Last month on HBO is April 2018. Heart warming family and romantic 1959 drama starring Whoopi Goldberg, Ray Liotta, Don Ameche and Larry Miller. ‘a fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?’
Films Recently Briefly on Netflix Streaming and Removed
Captain Fantastic (2016): Removed Sept 2017. Still on Amazon Prime. feel good, importance of family, role of father starring Viggo Mortensen.
Broadcast TV Archives of Note Available on Netflix Streaming
Riverdale (2017 – ): Updated Archie comic characters. Season 2 premieres on The CW October October 11.
Madame Secretary (2104 – ): political drama, strong women Season 4 premiere Sunday, October 8th on CBS
The Good Place (2016 – ): quirk metaphysical comedy
New Girl (2011 – ) comedy, strong women, newest episodes on Fox, committed for 2018
The Good Place (2016 – ) comedy. fantasy. Season 2 Sept 20 on NBC, Season 1 launched on Netflix August 2017. 13 30 minute episodes in Season 1.
Life in Pieces (2015 – ): comedy. Season 3 premieres Thursday November 2 on CBS
SuperGirl (2015 – ): strong women, Season 3 premiere, Monday Oct 2 on The CW (Formerly CBS)
Friends (1994 – 2013): comedy (10 seasons)
West Wing (1999 – 2006 ): political drama
The Office (US) (2005 – 2013): comedy, 9 seasons
Parks and Recreation (2009 – 2015): originally on CBS, comedy, 7 seasons
Arrested Development (2003 – 2005): Jeffrey Tambor, Jason Bateman comedy classic, originally on Fox, later revived on Netflix
The 100 (2014 – ): Sci-fi. Continuing on The CW
Premium Cable Access through Netflix Streaming
Nurse Jackie (2009 – 2015): originally on ShowTime, drama, dark comedy 7 seasons
Friends From College joins a slew of other new Netflix series to debut in 2017 that have been renewed for a second season, including Ozark, 13 Reasons Why, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Marvel’s Iron Fist, One Day at a Time, Santa Clarita Diet, Dear White People and GLOW. Only two so far, Girlboss and Gypsy, did not make it to a sophomore sesh. Deadline.com
Netflix Streaming Films That Are OK
Do NOT fit in films for girl friends category. Proceed with caution.
Bright (December 22, 2017): Netflix Original starring Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry Budget $90M. Cop buddy film with Humans, Elves, Orcs, Fairies more in an alternate Los Angeles.
Ojta (2017): Korean, animal rights, Tilda Swinton, fantasy. Buzz at Cannes. Warning. NOT a family film.
Time Lapse (2014): Sci-fi thriller
The Discovery (2017): romantic drama starring Robert Redford, Rooney Mara
The Two Faces of January (2014): thriller, travelogue for Greece, starring Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Isaac, Kirsten Dunst
Netflix Streaming: We Watched It So You Don’t Have To
Extinction (2018): sci-fi, film starring Michael Peña. 90 minute action to find out why one group is attempting to annihilate the other.
The Week Of (2018): Netflix original comedy with Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and Steve Buscemi, shot in video. They were advertising on broadcast TV! Part of the Adam Sandler Netflix deal. We kept waiting for it to get better as did the reviewer from Ebert.com Brian Tallerico.
Bokeh (2017): sci-fi, film
Walk of Fame (2017): comedy, film. Stars Malcom McDowell, Scott Eastwood (Clint’s son), Jamie Kennedy. Awful! Ignore Netflix’s 5 star rating.
Clinical (2017): film about psychiatrist, supposedly a thriller
Beware Netflix Streaming Viewer Rating System
Walk of Fame (2017): Got five stars on Netflix – which proves it is wise to check IMDB before spending any time watching something unfamiliar. Absolutely awful. 3.5 on IMBD. I gave it a 1 on IMDB and added a review to Netflix. There on the Netflix review page, I found that if I had checked, in spite of the 5 star average it got, there were many 1 star reviews written that provided ample warning, if one checks beyond the average. Netflix provided this on a “Reviews Voted Most Helpful” list. Faster to go to IMDB than to dig this far. The averages are much more reliable on IMBD and Rotten Tomatoes.
Note that Amazon owns IMDB so you often get IMDB ratings conveniently listed on Amazon Prime Video screen.
Netflix Streaming We Intend to See
Beasts of No Nation (2015):
Cary Joji Fukunaga directed, a wartime drama based on the 2005 novel by Uzodinma Iweala. In a fictional African country, a war breaks out, which separates the young Agu (Abraham Attah) from his family. Now, he must navigate the war-torn country, evading hostile militia forces and coming face-to-face with senseless violence. This one’s a Netflix exclusive, to boot.
Dope (2015): comedy, drama, coming-of-age story, a crime film. The movie’s neat trick is that it pulls off every category pretty well. Rick Famuyiwa directed Shameik Moore as Malcolm Adekanbi, an ambitious high school senior. Malcolm just wants to get into college, but fate has other plans, when he gets involved in a drug deal gone awry.
Zodiac (2014): Docudrama Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey, Jr. Zodiac serial killer
Night Crawler (2014): Jake Gyllenhaal